Expert Interview – Smart Combination: Solar, Storage and E-Mobility

Expert Interview – April 28, 2022

Expert interview with Thomas Vogel, Product Manager at KOSTAL Solar Electric on the opportunities and benefits of combining PV, storage.

The combination of solar power, storage technologies and e-mobility is considered an important cornerstone of the energy and transport transition. As an inverter manufacturer, KOSTAL has entered the charging box business. To what extent do the products complement the existing portfolio?

With the ENECTOR, KOSTAL closes the gap between energy generation, storage, monitoring and use in e-mobility. This provides customers with central components from a single source and as an ideal complement to their PV system and their e-car. However, the decisive benefit beyond the simple charging of one's own e-car, are the smart comfort features that can be flexibly added and at the customer's request. With the KOSTAL Smart Energy Meter and the activation code ENECTOR, our Wallbox can be individually expanded with additional performance and convenience functions.

What is generally important about the combination?

Ecologically and economically, it is particularly efficient to charge your own electric vehicle with as much solar power as possible that you produce yourself. The ENECTOR has the appropriate charging modes. In Solar Plus Mode for the combination of mains power and solar charging and Solar Pure Mode for pure solar charging, the Wallbox is optimally adjusted to the solar energy generation from your own roof in interaction with our inverter. This means that the solar power generated by the PV system is transferred smoothly to the electric vehicle.

How do you control PV use in your system?

The ENECTOR is set and controlled via the Solar App or the web server of the Smart Energy Meter. Thanks to the transparent link with it, energy flows can be viewed at any time. This is ideal for analysing and modulating your own PV system - and it's easy and free of charge via the Solar Portal or the Solar App.

Which customer groups are mainly interested in the system?

With the ENECTOR, we are mainly addressing the private customer sector. This is where we are currently registering the highest demand. In addition, the ENECTOR can be added to existing systems in a few simple steps. Subsequent models of the series and functional extensions or a bidirectional charging solution will focus on further customer groups and applications.

In your opinion, what has been the biggest hurdle for comprehensive use so far?

With the development of our own Wallbox, we are making it easy and convenient for future customers: The ENECTOR is already wired and ready for connection and quickly installed. No authorisation is required. With Mode 3 charging technology, it charges the most common e-vehicles - whether fully electric (BEV) or hybrid-powered (PHEV). It charges both single-phase and three-phase 3.7 to eleven kilowatts. There is even a 7.5-metre-long charging cable with the type 2 charging plug - this offers sufficient scope. This means that extensive use is already possible at present. In the future, the communication between the vehicle and the Wallbox will be optimized further and the charging modes will become more efficient.

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